The White House issued a statement saying it supports protection for unborn children and would support House passage of H.R. 503. At the same time, the Bush administration said it strongly opposed the one-victim substitute bill endorsed by pro-abortion groups.
“I think there’s been a shift from pro-abortion votes to more of a middle ground,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lindsey O. Graham.
“All innocent life is precious and deserves to be protected with the full force of the law,” said House Majority Leader Dick Armey. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about the beginning of life, or the end.
“The weakest in our society deserve to be protected the most,” he said.
“Women who are victims of violence need every legal protection, shelter and assistance a caring society has to muster,” said Congressman Chris Smith. “But I would respectfully submit — so do children. A victim is a victim, it seems to me, no matter how small.”
Smith questioned why Planned Parenthood and other abortion activists would so vehemently oppose a bill that protects an unborn child who has been shot, beaten or stabbed by an attacker.
“Could it be that America’s abortion culture — a culture of death — has so numbed our hearts and dulled our minds that we have become incapable or unwilling to recognize the obvious?” Smith asked.
“Unborn children are today treated as patients in need of curative procedures and healing just like any other patient,” Smith said. “Is the concept of the unborn child as victim really so hard to grasp, even when we are not talking about abortion, but assault by a mugger?”
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) applauded the bill’s passage and the rejection of the substitute measure (the Lofgren Amendment) known as the “one-victim substitute,” which was backed by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL).
“Lawmakers who voted for the one-victim bill will have to explain why they voted to say that when a criminal attacks a pregnant woman and kills her unborn baby, nobody has really died,” said Douglas Johnson, NRLC’s legislative director.
Displayed on the House floor throughout the debate was a photograph of Tracy Marciniak of Wisconsin holding the body of her son Zach, who was killed in her womb during a criminal assault.
“Anybody who thinks there is no dead baby in this photo should vote for the one-victim amendment,” said Smith. “But anybody who sees in this photo a grieving mother holding her dead son should vote for the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.”
“This legislation is a compassionate response toward women who seek justice for criminal assaults against their unborn children, and it clearly reaffirms government’s first duty: the protection of human life, especially the lives of the most vulnerable among us,” said Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus.
(This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)